The two discuss overcoming physical limitations and helping ailing parents.
While Kyle Oldham, this week’s guest on Maurice Benard’s video podcast show State Of Mind, may not be a household name to daytime viewers, her mother, Lee Meriwether, a former Miss America who is now an actress (ex-Ruth Martin, All My Children), probably is. Oldham, the eldest child of Meriwether and actor Frank Aletter, dabbled in acting before securing a dream position as a spokesmodel on and off The Price is Right for 14 years. However, this position was short-lived due to several operations.
GH’s Maurice Benard & Kyle Oldham: Facing Multiple Surgeries
The actress/spokesmodel talked about how medical issues that required surgery took over her life. I am only 62 years old, but I have likely undergone 60 to 70 procedures. survived thanks to God’s mercy. I have a fairly high pain tolerance, however I doubt I could have endured all of them without that.
One ailment, Morton’s Neuromas of the Foot, led to repeated repairs on her feet. “So when you consider it. both feet. 10 toes. ten foot surgeries on each foot Because I had neuromas on both feet, which are not supposed to grow back, she stated. But I’m the one. That will serve as my book’s tagline. But I’m the one. Because it appeared as though I was always exonerated of something I wasn’t. Those things kept returning.
The brain tumor was another factor. “Am I happy that I underwent all of these operations? No! Do I desire them? No. However, the easiest procedure I underwent was brain surgery. How does that take place? Oldham spoke sarcastically, But that was actually the simplest thing to do. I spent two days in the ICU, and on the second day I got that pole and circled the entire nurse’s station there. Because it was St. Patrick’s Day, I was wearing these glitzy green emerald glasses, and I’m giving my best Miss America wave. She can go home, right?, the nurses murmur between one other. I was released from the ICU. I didn’t enter a different room. I returned home.
Kyle Oldham: The A-ha Moment
Benard (Sonny Corinthos, GH) was struck by her overall great attitude with which she handled adversity. He wondered where she pulled her courage from. “God and learning from my mother,” she responded.
The two began discussing how they approached dealing with an ailing parent. Oldham related how her painful experiences led her to exactly where she needed to be to help her mom. “I think back to all of these surgeries that I have had that have kept me from going back to a job that I loved for 16 years. I was just answering phones for a very high-volume insurance business. We would get up to 2,000 calls a day.”
The loving daughter revealed the a-ha moment when she knew she was right where she needed to be and had the tools to deal with it. “I realized that my surgeries caught up with me right about the time I needed to leave there, not knowing what was coming up the pike. And that was mom. I thought, ‘Oh, that is why I had all of the surgeries because God wanted me to sit still.’ That was it. Devoting everything I had to Mom.”
Oldham reflected on the obstacles still in play. “Not over-stepping. That is the hardest part. It is also about balance for her, for me, and for conservatorship in general. All of that plays into it. And I am grateful.”
Maurice Benard and Kyle Oldham took a trip down Memory Lane that covered Lee Meriwether’s journey from Miss San Francisco to Miss California and then on to win the title of Miss America, how it led to a career in Hollywood and hobnobbing with such greats as Robert Lansing, Buddy Epsen, and Andy Griffith. Fans will learn how Meriwether’s father’s early death almost derailed her and how her mother stepped in.
Oldham talks about her own career in acting alongside her mother in television and plays, her role opposite Jason Robards in The Day After, her connection to the Westmores, the royal family of makeup in Hollywood, MacKenzie Westmore’s (Sheridan Crane in Passions) father Michael, and how Oldham landed a longtime gig on the show The Price is Right.
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